The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

This book was just not for me. I have so many complaints and not much good to highlight today. I’m so bummed because, this book got so much positive press and I’ve seen a lot of people love it! But the hype is not real.

Samiah works for a powerful tech company called Trendsetters in Austin. After a terrible encounter with a scamming ex that goes viral, Samiah finds herself with two new best friends and a pact that will keep her out of the dating world and focused on her career goals.

At the same time, Daniel shows up at Trendsetters on a mission. He’s undercover to seek out money launderers at the company, not to make friends. But he can’t seem to resist Samiah…

I really loved the topics addressed in this book (women in stem, women of color in stem, privilege in the industry) and I think there’s really great foundations for complexity and tackling big problems through a fun romance and strong relationships – but it falls terribly flat. Here’s why.

My first complaint with this book is how agonizingly slowwwww it was to get into. I had a whole week to read this and, after reading the first five chapters or so, I put it off until Monday night and read a whole different book. I was actually dreading it, despite all the positive reviews of this novel that popped up in my feeds all week. Eventually, the plot does pick up, but I never shook that initial feeling of resistance.

Next, the writing and dialogue were not the best. I associate that top quality writing with the best of the best of the genre, because the authors that can truly express feelings in dialogue have the best handle on human and romantic relationships. They can write something complex and real, and it improves the book tenfold. This book seriously lacked that, which made me wonder how it’s getting the attention it is. The dialogue between Daniel and Samiah, and even with other supporting characters like Samiah’s new friends, was robotic and forced. It was meant to carry too much weight for the plot instead of setting the scene for easy, comfortable relationships. I couldn’t settle in this book.

Another bizarre quirk I picked up on was how often the characters talked out loud to themselves. Of course, we all do it! I’m not denying that I don’t sit in my car and talk myself through my road rage or how to pull into a parking space, or even trying to remember things in the grocery store! But in this book it happened often enough that I noticed it and made a note of it, so. It was clearly awkward.

Something else I couldn’t shake? The plot similarity to The Right Swipe. Alisha Rai’s novel also centers on a woman of color creating an app in the tech world, then being sabotaged by her own deals with herself. While some key points were different (particularly their SO’s careers and plots) the plot was similar enough to notice. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more romances taking place in tech giants, but hopefully they have a bit more originality.

I think that about covers it. I feel bad highlighting so much of the bad here, but I really didn’t enjoy this read. Towards the end it picked up, but I don’t think I would recommend this one. It lacked that something special and it made for a very long Monday.

I received a copy of The Boyfriend Project by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Rochon’s book will be released June 9, 2020.

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